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Herradura and Los Suenos Resort

Playa Herradura

Not long ago, Playa Herradura (Horseshoe beach), 7 km (4.4 mi) north of Jaco , was little more than a quiet fishing village. Today it is home to one of Costa Rica 's largest and most luxurious resort: Los Suenos Resort & Marina , home of the area's only golf course, an 18 hole, 72 par, designed by Ted Robinson Jr.

Nevertheless, the secluded beach remains charming in a rural sort of way that is becoming increasingly rare in the country. Playa Herradura is also the departing point for sport fishing charters of all kinds, from the mega luxury yachts to the humbler pangas or longboats, all looking for a successful catch and release of marlin, sword fish, wahoo, tuna, mahi-mahi, snapper and more.

Anyone seeking a drastic contrast from Jaco will enjoy a quiet day trip here on the calm, palm-lined, black sand shore. During the day, keep busy exploring the abandoned crescent-shaped bay, or, during low tide, wade out to nearby Isla Herradura, an uninhabited patch of land just a few hundred meters off shore, and take a nap under the shady trees. Other beach activities include: jet-ski rentals, parasailing, banana boat rides, kayaking, boogie boarding, water raft rental, snorkeling and water bike rental.

A few beachfront restaurants make quiet and pleasant lunch stops. La Puesta del Sol , the first place off the road to the beach, serves simple local dishes and always seems to have some tico fishermen hanging around for a drink. Just a few meters down the shore is El Pelicano, a fancier joint. For the unlucky fisherman who returned to the shore empty-handed, Marisquería Juanita is the place to pretend you reeled in the fresh fish and lobster on your plate.

Los Suenos Resort and Marina

Los Suenos Resort and Marina is a 1,100-acre master planned destination resort community. Los Suenos encompasses a private 600-acre rainforest reserve; a 201-room five star Marriott hotel; over 500 luxury residences; an international marina; an exclusive Beach Club for residents; an 18-hole championship golf course, and much more.

For those just visiting Herradura as a day trip and unable to resist the urge to jump into Los Suenos Marriott Hotel gleaming 1-acre pool, the hotel charges a fee per person for use of the facilities. The Marriott Hotel, part of the Los Suenos Resort, houses a number of restaurants, including the visionary Nuevo Latino, which delights with a fusion of Latin American flavors. The hotel's facilities include the newly renovated SIBO spa and the nicest casino in the area.

The challenging 18-hole par-72 golf La Iguana Golf Course is unique in that it borders the rainforest and the ocean. It is not rare to see playful monkeys, three-toed sloths, brilliant-colored toucans and scarlet macaws along the fairways. In fact, La Iguana's forecaddies have been specially trained to point out over 150 species of wildlife to players as they make their way through the unique rainforest course.

Los Suenos Resort also includes a world-class marina. With 200 wet slips, 100 dry slips, fuel dock, and full-time staff the Los Suenos marina is the ultimate full service port for many luxury sportfishing boats and luxury yachts. The wet slips accommodate vessels from 30 to 180 feet in length, while the dry storage spaces accommodate vessels under 35 feet in length.

Next to the marina is the Marina Village, an exclusive collection of stores and restaurants. The dining offer is varied, from fantastic seafood at the open-air dining room at El Galeon Restaurant, where patrons can take in the spectacular view of the Los Suenos Marina yachts and beautiful Herradura Bay, to more the more casual Hook Up sports bar where you can enjoy comfort food, to the refined La Lanterna (Italian) and Bambu (Asian and Sushi) air-conditioned restaurants. Also featured is the Terrace live music lounge bar and the Dolce Vita coffee shop with tantalizing sweets.

The Los Suenos Beach Club facility, exclusive for its unit owners and renters, features an impressive, free-form swimming pool and jacuzzi, as well as shower and change facilities, expansive decks with plenty of lounge chairs and tables with umbrellas, fountains, swim-up bar and an elevated, white sand beach with shade palapas and a spectacular view of Herradura Bay. Los Suenos residents have the right to reserve the facility for private functions, including cocktails, weddings, family reunions and business meetings.

A shuttle van joins all condominium residences with the points of interest (hotel, marina, beach club) within Los Suenos. It runs every half hour, from 11:40 AM to 11:40 PM.

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